Wetland Specialist

Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources

The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) is the state of Minnesota’s soil and water conservation agency. BWSR works with partners to prevent sediment and nutrients from entering our lakes, rivers, and streams; enhance fish and wildlife habitat; improve soil health and protect wetlands. The 20-member board consists of representatives of local and state government agencies and citizens.

Job Details
Working Title: Wetland Specialist
Job Class: State Program Administrator Principal
Agency: Board of Water and Soil Resources

Who May Apply: Open to all qualified job seekers
Date Posted: 08/17/2023
Closing Date: 09/08/2023
Hiring Agency/Seniority Unit: Board of Water & Soil Resources / MAPE
Division/Unit: BWSR / WCA Operations
Work Shift/Work Hours: Day Shift
Days of Work: Monday – Friday
Travel Required: yes 25%
Salary Range: $28.96 – $42.67 / hourly; $60,468 – $89,094 / annually
Job Class Option: Water & Soil Resources
Classified Status: Classified
Employment Condition: Full Time Unlimited
Bargaining Unit/Union: 214 – MN Assoc of Professional Empl/MAPE
Work Location: Various- Mankato, Rochester, Marshall, or Waite Park
FLSA Status: Exempt – Professional
Hybrid Eligible: Yes
Designated in Connect 700 Program for Applicants with Disabilities: Yes
Make a difference in the lives of Minnesotans.
The work you’ll do is more than just a job. Join the talented, engaged and inclusive workforce dedicated to creating a better Minnesota.

Job Summary
Wetland Specialists with the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) serve as a regional representative overseeing the administration of the State’s wetland regulatory program, the Minnesota Wetland Conservation Act (WCA). The primary function of the position is to facilitate, support, and ensure that the technical and administrative procedures and rules of WCA are properly implemented by local units of government (LGUs) (Counties, Cities, Watershed Districts, Watershed Management Organizations, and some Townships).

BWSR regional Wetland Specialists (10 total across the state) serve on Technical Evaluation Panels (TEPs) for project reviews, provide advice and mentoring to Local Government Units (LGUs) on WCA implementation, oversee and evaluate LGU functioning and performance, interpret wetland regulations, give expert advice on wetland delineation, coordinate with other agencies regulating wetlands, and provide technical and administrative training and mentoring to LGU staff.

The position involves frequent travel in the assigned work area to attend meetings at local government offices and field reviews at project sites with infrequent overnight stays (1 every couple of months on average).

The position reports to the WCA Operations Supervisor who supervises all of the wetland specialist positions statewide. There is considerable interaction with other wetland specialists, the Wetland Mitigation Supervisor and his/her staff, technical services staff and the Wetland Section Manager.

Wetland specialists are afforded considerable flexibility in scheduling their work week to accommodate various meetings, field reviews and comment period deadlines in their work area. They are expected to manage their 80 hours of work within a two-week time period in accordance with the appropriate bargaining unit of the State’s contract with the Minnesota Association of Public Employees.

This position could be located at one the following BWSR office locations: Mankato, Rochester, Marshall, or Waite Park. Hybrid arrangements are available based on supervisor approval and demonstrated ability to provide efficient service and support to the assigned work area. The assigned work area will depend on the chosen office location of the successful candidate, but will generally be counties to the south and/or west of the Minneapolis/St.Paul metropolitan area.

Minimum Qualifications
Bachelor’s degree in conservation, natural resources, or closely-related technical field.

Two (2) full years (24 months) of advanced professional experience working with wetland regulatory programs that include ecological principals related to wetland science, technical aspects of wetland delineation, wetland typing, and wetland functional assessment. Advanced professional experience must be gained through a job in which one or more of the major duties is directly related to wetland regulation. An advanced degree may substitute for one (1) year of advanced professional experience.

Basic knowledge and understanding of natural resource regulatory programs including the role of government, the private sector, and the regulated public.

Ability to effectively and respectively work with the public, other government entities, and colleagues to reasonably apply technical and policy matters to a wide range of situations and circumstances in a regulatory environment.

Ability to operate independently as well as in a team environment to prioritize work and complete specified tasks and objectives in a timely manner.

Oral and written communications skills that include the ability to explain technical matters to the staff and officials of local government units and the general public.

Ability to critically review and provide recommendations on technical reports, applications, and associated documents related to wetlands and other natural resources.

Human relations, coaching, collaborative, persuasion, and team building skills sufficient to effectively work with diverse interests, gain cooperation for new approaches, resolve complex program problems with internal and external partners to accomplish common conservation objectives.

Proficient in the use of word processing, presentation, and spreadsheet software such as Word, PowerPoint and Excel including utilizing technologies in virtual meetings

Must be a certified Minnesota Wetland Professional per Minnesota Wetland Professional Certification Program or acquire within two (2) years necessary classes and training related to obtaining certification will be provided by the hiring agency if needed.

Requires an unrestricted Class D Driver’s License: a single unit vehicle with a gross vehicle weight of less than 26,000 pounds. This is a basic driver’s license. Operators may also tow vehicles/trailers as long as the gross combination weight does not exceed 26,000 pounds.

Preferred Qualifications
Advanced degree in conservation, natural resources, or related field.
Two or more years of experience conducting and/or reviewing wetland delineations.
One or more years of experience working directly with the Minnesota Wetland Conservation Act in one or more of the following capacities: professional private consulting on WCA compliance; administering WCA as a local government unit representative; serving on WCA technical evaluation panels; working for other government entities on related regulatory programs that interact or overlap with WCA.
Procedural understanding of the Wetland Conservation Act (WCA).
Certified Minnesota Wetland Professional per Minnesota Wetland Professional Certification Program administered by BWSR.

Physical Requirements
Medium Work – occasionally lifting articles such as 50 pound bags of feed maximum and frequently lifting and/or carrying objects such as heavy tools and file boxes. This job may require walking or standing to a significant degree on rough terrain or may involve sitting most of the time with pushing and pulling of arm and/or leg controls.

Requires the ability to walk in and around wetlands during adverse field conditions such as at times of high heat and humidity, in rough terrain, through standing water and with mosquitos and other biting insects. Requires occasional use of a soil auger and shovel to observe subsurface soil characteristics. Requires occasionally lifting such articles as file boxes and laptops, environmental equipment or heavier materials with help from others and/or lifting and carrying light objects frequently. A job in this category may require walking or standing to a significant degree and at times may involve sitting for extended periods during meetings.

Additional Requirements
This position requires an unrestricted Class D Driver’s License with a clear driving record.

It is policy of the Board of Water and Soil Resources that all candidates submit to a background check prior to employment. The background check may consist of the following components:

Employment Reference Check
SEMA4 Records Check
Criminal History Check
Driver’s License DMV Check
Conflict of Interest Review
Education/License Verification

Application Details
How to Apply
If you have questions about applying for jobs, contact the job information line at 651-259-3637 or email careers@state.mn.us. For additional information about the application process, go to http://www.mn.gov/careers.

If you have questions about the position, contact Kenneth Powell at ken.powell@state.mn.us or 651-215-1703.

To receive consideration as a Connect 700 Program applicant, apply online, email the Job ID#, the Working Title and your valid Proof of Eligibility Certificate by the closing date to Patricia Sweep at patricia.sweep@state.mn.us.

Why Work for Us
Diverse Workforce
We are committed to continually developing a workforce that reflects the diversity of our state and the populations we serve. The varied experiences and perspectives of employees strengthen the work we do together and our ability to best serve the people of Minnesota.

A recent engagement survey of State of Minnesota employees found:

95% of employees understand how their work helps achieve their agency’s mission
91% of employees feel trusted to do their jobs
88% of employees feel equipped to look at situations from other cultural perspectives when doing their job
87% of employees report flexibility in their work schedule
Comprehensive Benefits
Our benefits aim to balance four key elements that make life and work meaningful: health and wellness, financial well-being, professional development, and work/life harmony. As an employee, your benefits may include:

Public pension plan
Training and professional development
Paid vacation and sick leave
11 paid holidays each year
Paid parental leave
Low-cost medical and dental coverage
Prescription drug coverage
Vision coverage
Wellness programs and resources
Employer paid life insurance
Short-term and long-term disability
Health care spending and savings accounts
Dependent care spending account
Tax-deferred compensation
Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
Tuition reimbursement
Federal Public Service Student Loan Forgiveness Program

Programs, resources and benefits eligibility varies based on type of employment, agency, funding availability, union/collective bargaining agreement, location, and length of service with the State of Minnesota.